FL Pension Fund to Divest $1.3B in Iran and Sudan-linked Companies

September 20, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Florida's public employee retirement fund announced it will shed $1.3 billion invested in 21 companies doing business with Iran or Sudan, two countries sitting on the U.S. State Department's list of terror-sponsoring nations.

According to the Associated Press, the State Board of Administration – chaired by Governor Charlie Crist – authorized the divestiture Wednesday.

The 21 companies in which Florida has invested are among 57 the state has listed as off limits. Florida does not currently have investments with the other 36 companies. Several other companies remain under investigation and could be added later, according to the news report.

In order to figure out which companies have ties to terrorist-sponsoring countries, the state relied mainly on research and findings by four outside organizations that include the Sudan Divestment Task Force, Institute Shareholder Services, KLD Research & Analytics and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

The list provided by the state department has been used by pension funds in other states as well as a guidepost for social investing. New York State Senator Jeff Klein announced in June that the state’s pension fund has $12 billion invested in companies linked to countries on the list (See NY State Identifies Pension Fund Investments Link to Terrorist Countries).